Tax the Rich and Balance the Budget?

Could we balance the budget if the rich would only pay their “fair share”?

The answer is a resounding: NO!

Even if we taxed the rich at 100% of their income, this would not be enough to make a dent on our deficit, let alone the national debt and unfunded liabilities.

According to Mish, here are a few questions to ask and what we would have to do:

  • Would fair share tax hikes be enough to fund US government spending?
  • What if we took 100% of the profits of Walmart and Exxon Mobile?
  • What if the corporate tax rate was 100% for every corporation?
  • What if we confiscated 100% of the wealth of the super-wealthy including Warren Buffet and Bill Gates?
  • What if we did ALL of the above? Would that balance the budget?
To meet total spending requirements of $3.2 trillion, but not counting $117 trillion in unfunded liabilities, not only would we have to do everything in the five point list above, but we would have to take the combined salaries of all players in the NFL, Major League Baseball, the NBA, and the NHL, cut military spending by $254 billion, and tax everything people make above $250,000 at a 100% tax rate.

That’s what it would take to meet the 2012 budget of $3.8 trillion. It would do nothing to pay down the existing national debt of close to $16 trillion. It would not come remotely close to meeting $117 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

Surely tax rates on the wealthy are open to discussion. But from the looks of things, unless we solve the spending side of the equation. Raising tax rates to 100% will not be enough.